Young Adult Report: Will 'Mockingjay' Be the End?

Movie franchises based on young adult book series have had a long run at the top of the box office charts. Ever since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came to the screen in 2001, there has been a YA franchise cranking out blockbusters, with Twilight taking up the torch in 2008 and The Hunger Games pitching in beginning in 2012. But this fall, the Hunger Games franchise wraps up, and there's no clear successor. Does this mean the end of YA's reign on the big screen?

There's not a complete absence of YA franchises in process. The Divergent and The Maze Runner series, both of them dystopian Hunger games knock-offs, are performing respectably, but neither of them is setting the world on fire the way that the big three franchises did from the very beginning. The Divergent series will follow the now-typical model of turning a book trilogy into a four-film series, but Maze Runner will remain limited to three films. In any case, the two franchises will keep us busy through 2017.

Is there any potential blockbuster franchise waiting in the wings? There are plenty of popular books - including Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules, and Marie Lu's Legend, - that are either in production or have been at least optioned by studios. The problem is that none of these books has the broad mainstream appeal that Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games enjoyed before they were made into films. Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has a bestseller but the book's upcoming film adaptation has the misfortune of being directed by Tim Burton, which of late has not been an indicator of a film's potential success.

So it's likely that after Katniss takes her bow this fall, we'll be left with only Divergent and Maze Runner to satisfy our YA cravings, and unless a new contender steps forward soon, even that source is going to dry up in a little over a year.

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